How to Build a Sliding Door Garden Gate
lovely garden path
Have that wonderful garden fence or fence around the foyer area of your home and need to come up with a sliding gate??? This article is for you.
Once the fence is up, making your sliding gate is a bit challenging, but the hardest part really was the primary fence.
With a little of the same materials you used to make your fence and some ingenuity you can build a sliding door garden gate!
These instructions are for building a sliding door gate for a wood framed or a wood fence. If you have a metal or iron fence you can use these directions as a guide to modify and create your own design from.
Here is a list of suggested items for your sliding garden gate
- 2×2’s for gate frame
- fencing material for gate that matches the rest of the fence.
- paver bricks
- 2ea 2 inch wheel assembly units.
Determine how long you want to make your sliding door gate. You should make it about 4-6 inches longer than the opening you will be closing off when your sliding door gate is closed.
Ideally your gate should match your garden fence
Make sure that you have secure and solid posts to attach to for your gate. The post on each end of your opening need to be solidly into the ground as they will be the primary support structure for your sliding door gate. If they do not seem secure enough you should reinforce both supports. You can bury another piece of treated lumber, or pound a metal fence post into the ground to the level of the fence and secure your end posts to them. Whatever you do you need a strong support structure for your sliding door gate or the added weight could topple your fence!
Build the framing for your gate. Remember that the gate needs to be 4-6 inches longer than the opening in your fence, but it also needs to be about 5 inches or so shorter in height than your fence is. This is to accommodate for the slider and the wheels. Make the gate out of the same material as your fence so that it matches, simply make it a little shorter and longer. Reinforce all sides of the sliding door gate so that it will not twist or bend. I suggest using metal framing corners or 2×2’s as reinforcement’s, depending on the material that the gate is to be made out of. If the gate will have a tendency to twist or flex you will want to use the 2×2’s as framing for the added support they give.
Check and double check your measurements before you actually assemble the gate. You need to make accommodations for the actual size of your wheels and take into consideration the depth of the channel they will ride in, etc. To insure everything will fit the way you want it to when you are finished.
To the bottom of your assembled sliding door gate you will attach both of the 2 inch wheel assembly’s. Each assembly should be about 8 inches or so from each end. This is to allow your gate to slide without hanging up.
It does not matter what kind of pavers or stones you use, you simply need to create a track for your wheels to go through so that your gate can easily slide open or closed.
If at all possible you should have a channel that these wheels will ride in. If you have dirt ground where the gate is, it will be relatively easy to make the channel where it will be the safest for your family and visitors. Simply dig out the area to match twice the width of your pavers plus the width of your wheel assembly’s. Then lay in your pavers keeping the width of your wheel assembly’s open. Paver-grove-Paver. this way your wheels will travel in the channel created by the space between the pavers. If you use a raised rail type channel for your wheel assembly’s to travel through, someone could trip over the rail, unless you embed it in between pavers. Since the channel is
Ok, so now you should have the gate made, it should have the wheels attached, and you should have your space set up for the wheels to slide through. Line this up with your fence to insure again that it will be the correct size for the area and that it will not be taller than the main fence. Time to make the attachments that will keep your gate attached to your main fence.
Now you need to measure the height of your gate and add 5 inches, cut 2 pieces of your 2×2’s to this length. Next measure how deep (thick) your gate is including the frame. Add 1/2 inch to this measurement and cut 4 pieces to this size. These will be for the frame that your gate will slide through. Don’t forget about the area along the fence that the gate will slide into when it is open!
Next pre-drill the holes for the screws that will hold the pieces together. Then attach the short pieces to the long pieces of your 2×2’s. You should end up with 2 short pieces on end fastened to the ends of your longer pieces so that you will have a space large enough for your gate to slide through. The measurements should give you a 1 inch clearance at the top of the bracket and a half inch clearance between the bracket and the side of the gate. Place this against your fence supports to test this clearance before going on to the next step.
Take your bar of wax and wax the inside edges of the brackets you just made. You can heat the wax to melt it into the wood if you like to get a good slick surface for your sliding door garden gate to slide through once everything is attached. Also wax the support to your fence to give it some extra slide.
Now attach your brackets to your fence supports. Making sure that the bottom of the bracket lines up with the bottom of your gate and the top of the bracket lines up with the top of your fence.
slide your gate into the brackets on each side. On one side you will attach something to act as a stop to prevent your gate from being pulled past the support. For mine I attached 2 metal elbow brackets to the slider bracket facing into the gate, these catch the frame of the gate and prevent the gate from going past that point.
Once everything is in place and you are sure that it works to your satisfaction you can attach some sort of latching mechanism to prevent the gate from coming open when you don’t want it to.
- Always check and recheck your measurements before making any cuts into your fence, frame, etc. This way you don’t waste materials.
- Use care whenever handling tools, power tools etc to prevent injury